The wife of Ilham Tohti, who was arrested and charged with separatism (see our letter), cannot access his bank account since his arrest, Tohti’s daughter told the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. Tohti’s young children are traumatized by police harassment, she said, especially after witnessing mistreatment of her father.
CCS urges authorities to end to restrictions on Tohti’s family.
President Xi Jinping
The State Council General Office 2 ¬
People’s Republic of China
April 9, 2014
We write now in concern for Professor Ilham Tohti’s family.
We wrote to you on January 27, 2014, (letter attached) concerning Dr. Tohti , a professor of economics at Central Minzu University and a peaceful advocate for the rights of the Chinese Uyghur Minority. Tohti was arrested on January 15, 2014, and charged on February 20 with “separatism.” We gather that Tohti is currently held in Urumqui Municipal Prison in Xinyian, Uyghur Autonomous Region, on charges of “separatism.” He has been specifically denied access to his lawyer, Li Fangping, on grounds of “state secrets” according to reports.
While we deplore Tohti’s treatment, as we explained in our previous letter, we are now particularly distressed about recent reports of state-sponsored mistreatment of his wife and children. According to testimony by Tohti’s daughter Jewher Ilham on April 8, 2014, before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Tohti’s wife Guzelnur cannot access his bank account. Her apartment is blocked by police and policemen follow her and her children when they leave. Her neighbors consequently shun her. This condition is particularly damaging to Tohti’s two young children. One of them has nightmares from having seen his father beaten. He shows the effects of trauma in his behavior and his schoolwork.
We therefore respectfully urge you to investigate the situation and to immediately lift all restrictions on Tohti’s family, including giving his wife access to his bank account and freedom from police presence for his whole family. We also reiterate our request to provide Tohti himself with treatment that is consistent with China’s obligations under international law, in particular internationally recognized standards of due process, fair trial, free expression and freedom of association. We also urge you, pending his release, to ensure Tohti’s well being in custody, including access to counsel and family.
Sincerely,Joel L. Lebowitz
Paul H. Plotz
Eugene M. Chudnovsky
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
Congressional-Executive Commission on China
Our Previous Activities
- Advocate for Uighur Minority in China Arrested, Taken to Undisclosed Location (concernedscientists.org)